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Food smells: Favorites? Least favored?

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My main negative reaction is to rosemary. Please don't make me tell the rosemary story.

Please, PLEEEEASE tell the rosemary story! :laugh:

Personally, I love the smell of Stilton.


If you really must read it, go back to post 20 of this thread... :biggrin:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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  • 2 weeks later...
I love love love Vinegar! (must be a Filipino thing?)

Hmmm. Maybe it is a Filipino thing. I LOVE vinegar as well.

Check this out:

A big white, meaty chunk of boneless bangus dipped in white vinegar with fresh raw garlic floating in it. Along with palm-pressed bite-size rolls of hot white rice.

Mmmmmmmm. Takes me back to the islands...


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe -Roy Batty

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Check this out:

A big white, meaty chunk of boneless bangus dipped in white vinegar with fresh raw garlic floating in it.  Along with palm-pressed bite-size rolls of hot white rice.

Mmmmmmmm.  Takes me back to the islands...

Go you one better. Use cane vinegar and don't forget the chilis! Tastes of home.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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I love the smell of smoked salmon (ok, almost anything smoked), rosemary, nutmeg, coffee, and apples.

The only smell that stands out in a negative way is eggplant. I literally get nauseous every time I smell it. I think I have an allergy to it.

How do chef's handle working in environments were an ingredient makes them sick just to smell it?

"Instead of orange juice, I'm going to use the juice from the inside of the orange."- The Brilliant Sandra Lee


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How do chef's handle working in environments were an ingredient makes them sick just to smell it?

For me ... try not to breathe when those cans of fish get opened (we make a lot of party sandwiches). The smell kills me.

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  • 1 year later...

Favorite smell as of late: scalded half-n-half. OMG. :wub:

The way I drink my coffee is to pour 1oz of half/half into my favorite cup, then nuke it for 20 seconds until it is boiling, then add my coffee (6oz). (Its a small mug)


But sticking my face into the mug as it comes out of the microwave and inhaling that hot cow-y goodness, well, that's just heaven to me at 8 o'clock in the morning.



"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda


Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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I live in Texas and no matter what time of year, weather, or season, if I smell smoke I immediately jump to the conclusion of barbecue.

Recently im loving the smell of sesame oil in a hot skillet/wok. It lets me know good stuff is coming.

Then the standard sausage, bacon, grilled steak and peanut butter.

I hate the smell of chitterlings and neckbones.

Ive tried to eat them a few times that ive gotten older and the smell does me in everytime even if i can get a mouth full the smell wins.

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-Bacon frying

-Anything bread-like baking

-Hamburgers over charcoal

-The way wine smells as it reduces

-Wild mushrooms in a hot pan, just as the start to give off their water, with a pinch of garlic

-The way my grandmother's buscuit dough used to smell right before it got rolled out

-Raw beef. I am very odd. I love the smell of fresh raw beef.

-The way my father's property smells when he's smoking a brisket.

Icky Icky Ew:

-Any sort of shellfish stock simmering - GAG!

-Raw chicken

-Any sort of organ meat cooking - for years I wouldn't touch the stuff, then I realized it was just the smell that revolted me, the taste was pretty good.

-The smell of certain types of bleu cheese makes me want to hurl.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Love the smell of bread baking, garlic roasting in the oven, coffee (even though I don't drink it), anything cooking on the barbecue,

Hate the smell of that crappy parm cheese that comes in a container and that my husband and kids insist on spoiling their pasta with, hamburg cooking in a frying pan.

Edited by newbie (log)
A truly destitute man is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster. - anonymous
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I love the smell of a lot of foods, but most especially garlic cooking in butter, brownies baking in the oven, fresh apples or citrus, and wine.

I dislike the smell of raw meat, cooked eggs, hamburgers, and the smell in our house after we've made tacos or fajitas. It gets into everything. Canned tuna is pretty bad too, especially when my husband doesn't rinse the sink after he drains it. Blech.

I REALLY hate the smell of hot tar, although it's not food. Sometimes I can smell it as I walk to work, and it seems like it even permeates the cup of coffee I'm drinking on the way.

I don't mind the rat race, but I'd like more cheese.

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Perhaps I missed it, but no one has mentioned my very favorite saliva-inducing aroma: steamed blue crabs with a hint of Old Bay (see handle). Of course, this leads to one of my least-favorite smells: crab-filled dumpster in July.

Besides the perennial favorites mentioned previously, other delicious aromas include:

The deep, rich, mysterious scent of dried ancho and pasilla chiles. Open a bag, inhale deeply -- ahhh, heaven.

Roasted fresh Poblano chilies (a theme emerging, perhaps?)

Lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chilies, shallots, fish sauce, and coconut milk.

A salty ocean breeze plus just about any other scent, including dead fish.

Even better, a salty ocean breeze, plus tonic, plus gin.

Penzeys spice stores, with the myriad gallon-sized glass jars of spices to shake and sniff.

Mexican oregano -- wonderful stuff.

There are very few food scents that I actively dislike, but Marmite is one of them. When we were kids, anyone who lost in P-I-G (a shorter variant of H-O-R-S-E) had a choice of two tortures: a rap on the knuckles with a block of wood; or eating Marmite. No one ever chose Marmite. DW, unfortunately, is afflicted with an affinity for the yeast-flavored industrial waste.


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I love the smell of almost any food cooking, fresh ground coffee (even though I no longer drink it), fresh, ripe strawberries from the farm stands in the Central Valley.

I really detest the smell of that stuff used in inexpensive (and some times expensive restaurants) Called things like Pan and Grill oil. Fakie butter taste. (Gag)

No longer a problem because it's illegal here, but the sulphur dioxide that used to be used to keep lettuce from turning brown. Nasty!

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ah yes, frying garlic in butter gently ... ummmm... sweetest perfume ever!


One of the greatest combinations ever in my life: good cultured unsalted butter plus brunoised fresh organically-grown garlic plus dry white wine plus good homemade chicken stock: risotto beginnings. Glorious.

Another one: brown button mushrooms, marinated liberally in extra-virgin olive oil, seasoned liberally with sea salt and fresh-ground pepper, crowned with a couple or three sprigs of fresh thyme and "roasted" (steamed, actually!) in a tightly sealed baking dish for about 20 minutes. Mind-blowing aroma.

Another one: roasting chicken, rubbed with lemon and EVOO and chopped tarragon and parsley and sea salt and fresh-ground pepper (in the cavity: sprigs of thyme and parsley, quarters of fresh lemon).


One of the most ghastly things I ever have smelled: dead ends of garlic and/or shallots the next morning, moldering in the trash along with mussel shells and denuded herb stems, after a Friday evening of mussels steamed in white wine. There's a reason I toss the trash, without fail, on the night I cause it to exist, and fire up the dishwasher the instant everything's scraped/rinsed/ready to wash: I don't want to smell the consequences the next morning, and I do want a clean sweet kitchen awaiting me, ready for breakfast!


Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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A few favorites are...

A big pot o' boiling pasta.

Coffee brewing on a weekend morning, NOT a work day.

A sun-warmed blackberry patch. Pure heaven.

Fresh mint and rosemary from my garden. Lovely stuff!

THE least liked...

Rotten seafood. Hands down, the worst odor ever. Ever. Fish sauce is forgivable, though. Can't make delicious Thai food without it. :smile:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?


Twin Peaks

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Favorite smells:

Coffee brewing and bacon frying

Browning butter

Fresh ripe strawberries

Roasting garlic

Garlic and onions frying

Browning hamburger

Any strong nibbling cheese except blue cheeses

Crispy hot toast


Fresh chopped chiles, any type

Most ripe fruits

In-between smells - these are smells that I dislike in the first part of the whiff, but further sniffing reveals good smells:

Kimchi, sauerkraut, practically any fermented vegetable

Vinegars (except plain distilled)

Brussels sprouts

Pork being seared

Wine - had a bad experience, and I'm really not sure about my alcohol tolerance

Blue cheese

Least favorite smells:

Sardines packed in oil, but only after eating half the can. Tiny sardines on saltines are a great snack, but I can only get through half and then I can't stand the smell of sardines for days.

Sliced bread fresh out of the plastic bag


Fish sauce

Raw beef

Scrambled eggs - but again only after eating them

Roasted or canned Anaheim or New Mexico chiles mixed with cheese - reminds me too much of really bad food I've had in the past

Dirty oil/burned chow mein smell that comes from Panda Express

Overcooked french fries

The smells that came out of the communal freshman microwave - burnt popcorn every other night, burnt Cup o' Noodles on occasion

-- There are infinite variations on food restrictions. --

Crooked Kitchen - my food blog

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mmmm, when do we get smell-o-vision?

I can't stand the smell of eggs - cooked in any way (I don't eat them).

Leftover tuna can and burned microwave popcorn (as mentioned by others above)

I love:

freshly ground coffee...mmm ambrosia

garlic cooking in olive oil

the roasting pan from a chicken or turkey with all the browned stuff in the bottom, nicely caramelized

fresh from the garden, still warm from the sun tomato

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Fabulous Smells

Walking through the food halls of various top end department stores - especially the ones with a fresh cut flower concession. The combination of roasting coffee, posh bread, chocolate and mangos makes me feel richer than God and more . Even if I'm without a penny to call my own those smells transport me to a place where I'm pampered.

I also love the smell of a continental delicatassen full of smoked and cured sausages and hams.

A good cafe will reveal itself with its cakey, bready, coffee smells. Do not eat at the cafe that does not smell of these things!

Bad Smells..

The smell of the disgusting water they use in the bain maries in Japanese convenience stores during oden season. The scary bacteria ridden oden water with fish sticks afloating always seemed to be located near the till, so you'd hand over your money and be assaulted by a small not unlike old waste water from tinned tuna mixed with male pork. Blach.

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Bitter warm smells like turmeric


onions or garlic cooking in butter (what a rarity :hmmm: )

any sweets baking, less so if cinnamon involved

the carmelizing smell of overheated milk


fake butter flavored anything

raw turkey

the first few hours of turkey stock cooking (every window open, and I'm usually browning garlic on the stove to combat the nastiness)


the outside of a KFC

the sourdough starter for injera

<editted to fix formating>

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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First my dislikes, as that is a small list. Cabbage cooking and the smell of cheese. I HATE THE SMELL OF CHEESE and try to avoid that section of the supermarket.

Now my likes, I love the smell of almost anything baking in the oven, whether its meat roasting or dessert baking. Along the lines of dessert, I live about 4 or 5 blocks away from the Interbake Company (formerly Burry Cookie factory) which is a commercial bakery taking up about 2 city blocks. First thing in the morning and late in the evening, when they are baking probably thousands of cookies or cakes or whatever it is they make these days, the smell in the air is intoxicating, so sugary sweet and cozy and warm :wub: - but the downside to this smell is that there is no way to actually taste it - I mean what tastes like hundreds or thousands of cookies/cakes baking at once - nothing. :sad:

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